Duragesic Patch FAQ

Q:  What is Duragesic?

A:  Duragesic, also known as fentanyl transdermal system, refers to the skin patch under the narcotics analgesics or opioid analgesics category. Narcotic analgesics are applied to relieve pain. The Duragesic skin patch treats chronic pain, ranging from moderate to severe pain, which is expected to last for several weeks or even longer. Duragesic CII patch is manufactured by ALZA Corporation and distributed by Janssen Pharmaceutica Products LP. Duragesic was granted its approval in 1990 by the US Food and Drug Administration.

Q:  Is there any latest update about Durgesic?

A:  It was in February 12, 2008 when the painkiller patches under the prescription fentanyl were recalled because there was a report on a cut in the drug reservoir of the patch that may cause harmful overdose of the strong painkiller. The affected patches are sold by PriCara which is under the brand name Duragesic. The generic model of the fentanyl practices is marketed by Sandoz Inc. The recall was directed to all 25 microgram/hour fentanyl patches with expiration dates on or before December 2009. The withdrawn patches must also be properly discarded right away. PriCara is advising the patients with recalled 35 mcg/hr Duragesic patches to contact 800-547-6446. Patients with recalled 25 mcg/hr Sandoz Inc patches are advised to call 900-901-7236.

FDA released a warning in July 2005 informing that they are reviewing reports of death and other adverse side effects from overdoses of the narcotic fentanyl in patients who are using the Duragesic skin patches for pain relief. Instructions in using the Duragesic skin patch should be adhered as exactly to avoid death or other serious side effects that can occur from the use of too much or overdosing fentanyl. The instructions are contained in the patient package inserted from the FDA.

What should I know before using Duragesic?

Duragesic must not be the first narcotic pain reliever prescribed for your pain. Duragesic is not recommended for patients who require pain reliever for short-term and occasional or “as needed” use only.

Q:  Can children use Duragesic?

A:  Children below two years old and children two years old and above who are not using opioid narcotic pain relievers are not recommended to use Duragesic.

The pediatric patients who are two years old and above and opioid tolerant taking t least 60 milligrams (mg) of oral morphine every day, or at least taking 30 mg of oral oxycodone each day, or at least 8 mg of oral hydromorphone every day, or equally strong dosage of another opioid for one week or longer before taking Duragesic.

Q:  Who should not use Duragesic?

A:  Patients must not use Duragesic if they are on the following conditions:

  • If they are not using other opioid narcotic medications
  • If they only need opioid pain reliever/medicine for shorter time only
  • If they need medication for pain relief after surgery, medical, or dental procedures
  • If they need pain reliever/medicine for occasional use only
  • If they have acute asthma
  • If they have gastrointestinal problems known as paralytic ileus

Q:  Is there any severe health risks related with the use of Duragesic?

A:  There are serious health risks from using Duragesic. If you are experiencing with any or more of the following symptoms, you must call your doctor or your healthcare provider for immediate medical attention: if you have difficulty or trouble breathing, slowed or intense breathing, feeling dizzy or faintness, confused or anything rare symptoms. These may be associated to Duragesic overdose and may result to some severe health problems or even death if they are not treated immediately.

If you decide to discontinue using the Duragesic skin patch, it may lead to making you very sick such as withdrawal signs. Consult with your healthcare provider about how to stop using Duragesic skin patch properly. There may even be a chance of getting addicted to pr abuse other medicines, or alcohol, of if you have any history of mental problems. There are also Duragesic users who may suffer from decrease in blood pressure which can make you feel dizzy when you get up abruptly from sitting or lying.

Q:  What are the side effects related with Duragesic?

A:  Some common side effects which are associated with using Duragesic arw as follows:

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Sleepiness
  • Weakness
  • Dry mouth
  • Sweating.

For children, they may have trouble in sleeping and seizures.

A:  What must I tell the healthcare provider before he/she prescribes the Duragesic?

A:  Inform your healthcare providers if:

  • You have trouble in breathing or lung problems like asthma, wheezing or short or difficulty in breathing;
  • Low blood pressure;
  • Have history of head injury or brain problems;
  • Experienced any seizure;
  • Have heart illness known as bradycardia or slow heartbeat;
  • Have kidney and liver problems;
  • Gallbladder problems;
  • Have history of low thyroid or hypothyroidism;
  • Having problems on urinating;
  • Suffered from intense depression and hallucination;
  • Have adrenal gland illness such as Addison’s disease;
  • Have history of drinking problems or alcoholism;
  • Have drug abuse or addiction history;
  • Skin reactions due to adhesives contained in Duragesic skin patch;
  • If you are pregnant or planning to be pregnant, or nursing your baby;
  • If you are using heating devices such as electric blankets, heating pads, heat lamps, hot tubs, saunas, or heated waterbeds

Q:  Is there any interaction between Duragesic and other drugs or foods?

A:  Duragesic skin patch and some other medications can interact with one another. Inform your healthcare provider about all the medicines you have used or taken, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements, particularly those that make you sleepy for other pain relievers, sleeping pills, antihistamines, anxiety drugs, or tranquilizers. Refrain from starting any new prescription and non-prescription medicines, or new herbal supplements while you are using the Duragesic skin patch until you have consulted them with your healthcare provider.

Q:  What else do I need to know about using Duragesic?

A:   Contact your healthcare provider immediately when you get fever higher than 1020F. Avoid using Duragesic skin path if the seal is broken, destroyed, or altered in any way of form. Refrain from changing your dose, or wearing more than one Duragesic skin patches at a time, discontinue using Duragesic , unless prescribed or instructed by your healthcare provider. Disposed properly the used and unused Duragesic skin patch according to the manufacturer’s or your healthcare provider’s directions.

Q:  What should I do if I think I have been injured as a consequence of using Duragesic?

A:  If you or any of your family members are experiencing any of the serious and rare symptoms while using the Duragesic, contact first your healthcare provider or your doctor. Then, you may look for a reliable and experienced lawyer and discuss your legal rights for a remedy for any injury sustained due to the use of  Duragesic skin patch.

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